It doesn’t matter whether your dog has short or long hair, smooth or coarse hair, your dog needs your help often when it comes to their grooming. It’s sure not something that they can do themselves. However, often we are guilty of not doing it right and this can then make grooming far more difficult than it should be.
Often when it comes to grooming it is actually one of the aspects of dog training. Which means if there’s improper training this can cause some pretty unhappy grooming sessions for both you and your dog.
If your dog is a puppy then it is important to get them used to the brush right away and don’t let them think it’s a toy. You also need to get them use to taking a bath and having their face, feet and ears handled right from the start. The earlier you introduce your dog to the basics of grooming, especially those who require a lot of grooming the easier it will be as they grow up.
If your dog is a rescue dog, like mine, and they are brought home at a later stage in life, it is really important that you approach their grooming in a very calm manner and make sure that you give them tons of praise. You need to make their grooming experience as positive as you can. Even dogs that absolutely show nothing but fear and hatred toward grooming can be turned around with patience and praise.
It took quite some time for me to get my little rescue to stop moving and crying every time it was bath time, if the neighbors heard him, they probably thought I was torturing him. But with constant patience, plenty of praise and treats, he now stands still and is perfectly quiet. I’m not saying he loves baths now, but at least now his behavior is calm and accepting. But it took several months before this happened, so don’t give up.
Dogs with long hair are prone to getting mats in their hair. What a lot of owners don’t realize is that long hair plus water equals mats at bath time. Owners tend to forget that when long or thick fur gets wet, their dog has a higher risk of getting tangles and mats in their hair. This is why it is important to do a lot of brushing to get rid of both dead and tangled hair before the bath. Also it’s a good idea to do a quick brushing after your dog has dried off to make sure that any dead hair that got loosened by the water is removed. Also consider using a safe conditioner and a comb while giving them a bath to loosen up as much dead hair as you can. It’s also a good idea to blow dry your dog after the bath, this will help break up any tangles there might be.
As cute as one might think it is for their dog to snap at the garden hose when trying to spray them down, or snapping playfully at the hair dryer when drying them, it’s not cute. It’s actually a very bad habit they are being allowed to develop. It doesn’t always mean that your dog is playing, often it means that he’s afraid of what you are doing, so you should never reinforce this kind of behavior. What you should do is to shake their paws, grab their tails gently and hold onto their ears while giving them praise. By holding them still while you are trying to groom them and touching them in places they may not usually like, is going to teach them this is part of grooming and it’s okay. The praising will let them know that it’s nothing to be afraid of.
When the weather starts to get colder, often dog owners want to make sure that their dog is warm enough during the colder months. Because of this, they often don’t groom them as much and this is a very common mistake made. By neglecting to groom them during these months can cause a lot more harm than good. A lot of matting can happen while waiting for the warm months to come back and then you really will end up with some issues with your poor dog.
If your dog has a lot of issues with matting there really isn’t much else you can do but to give them a short shave. Yep, that’s right, just the opposite of what you might want right in the middle of wintertime. If you want to avoid this, then you need to keep up the regular dog maintenance just like during warmer months. It’s better that your dog shivers a bit after their bath in the winter than letting them go without and ending up with major tangles and even skin problems. Just make sure that the home is nice and warm before and after you bathe your dog and you should have no problems when it comes to grooming your dog during the winter.